Chilean miner SQM posted record lithium sales in the last quarter of 2020, although floundering prices for the ultralight metal continued to weigh on the company's profits. SQM said its lithium sales volumes in the fourth quarter jumped 50% from the previous quarter, hitting a three-month record of more than 25,000 tonnes. However, prices stagnated at $5,300 per tonne.
Spanish renewable energy company Ibereólica has submitted a proposal to build a 1.17 GW hybrid wind-solar power plant to Chile's environmental evaluation service SEA. The ERNC Antofagasta project, which is being planned by Ibereólica ERNC Antofagasta, a special purpose vehicle company owned by Ibereólica, will consist of a 496 MW wind farm and a 675 MW solar PV plant.
The government will introduce a series of changes to the pension reform being discussed in Congress, which was approved by the Senate Labour Committee. President Piñera explained that one of the changes is that the government intends to increase the Solidarity Pillar from 60% to 80% of the population.
Chile's state-owned Codelco said it would permanently incorporate teleworking into its shift schedule after months of experimenting with the model during the coronavirus pandemic. The company has sent approximately 2,700 employees home to work remotely. The company said it would roll out a hybrid model for some of its employees, beginning in the small Gabriel Mistral division and then to its flagship El Teniente mine and beyond.
Chile’s housing market is slowing rapidly due to the pandemic. The average price of new apartments in Greater Santiago rose by 1.7% during 2020, sharply down from the previous year’s 7.32% growth. Yet on a quarterly basis, house prices increased 3.98% in Q4 2020. Demand and supply are falling sharply. During 2020, new home sales in Greater Santiago area plummeted by 28.2% y-o-y to 22,672 units, following a 6.9% decline in 2019, according to the Chilean Chamber of Construction (CChC).